Yes indeed, the 21st Future-Shock, and another round of analysis of the wrestling scene from a UK wrestlers perspective.
A quick thanks to Saracen for some kind words earlier in the month – if you haven’t read his UK scene column make sure to check it out (hey he gave me a plug so turnaround is fair play!)
I remember doing an interview for a northern-based television company in 2001, and in that interview I spoke about the upturn in British wrestling business. Now, here in 2004, if I were to do the same interview, I think I would have to pause before I used the same tone. Interestingly, around that time, I wrote somewhere that the British wrestling industry, post ‘world of sport’, was directly dependant upon the success at WWE. If memory serves me correct, things were pretty healthy in for the WWE in 2001. The downward trend in business for the WWE always spells dwindling business for the smaller companies around them.
It’s with this observation in mind that I constantly draw upon what’s going down at WWE as I write about the UK scene. As a child fan, I always wanted WWE to be exciting because it meant great shows. As a modern day wrestler I want WWE to be exciting because that means business is good and options are out there.
One thing that has happened, as a result of less exposure for wrestling in the states, and fewer British superstars being given the larger spotlight, is that America isn’t looking towards the UK for it’s next stars. In truth, WCW was always seemingly more open minded as far as bringing in the Brits. The WWE had the Bulldog and Dynamite, but they did come as a result of their close relationship to the Harts. It is Bruce Hart, rather than WWE, actually responsible for them going across the pond.
WWE, on the other hand passed up their first chance to sign Steve Regal, because, as he believes, they already had the late Davey Boy Smith. Regal famously signed with WCW, as did Fit Finlay and countless other British Wrestlers. But the WWE have always kept to one or 2 UK stars.
Given that every Hollywood heel, these days, seems to be English, one would have thought the WWE would have utilised a modern day English character to copy this tradition over to sports entertainment. Hey, we may be the bad guys with this scenario in place… but at least we’d be given jobs! Since the WWE borrows much of its fodder from Hollywood, even employing Hollywood writers, I am surprised that the prospect of the many types of character England could present hasn’t been long established.
But wait, I here you say, why are you advocating the WWE take our wrestlers? I can here the smarter ones amongst you now. Your brains are ticking to the sound that means your formulating forward thinking. That forward thinking tells you that the WWE would sign up our best, most respected workers, and under utilise them, only to drop them from their contracts a year later. Good thinking grasshopper!
But let me develop that thought a phase further. Once they come home, we can advertise our own stars ‘as seen in WWE’! Do you see what that means?
I noted earlier that the British wrestling industry faltered when WWE dropped the ball. But under this scenario the WWE’s booking mistakes could benefit us. We could actually bring crowds in by having our own homegrown stars back after being given WWE exposure. Hey, it’s ‘out there’, but its something to think about!